Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Almost Too Busy
By Van Burbach
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Dan was a busy man, but not too busy to have time for people, at least not usually. He loved being a pastor and he loved his flock; still, there were days when it just seemed too much. Today was one of those days. There were so many people with so many needs, and often it seemed, too little fruit. A prayer resounded in his spirit: “Lord, show me the fruit of my labor so I will have the strength to carry on.”
Dan finished his sermon and walked out of the sanctuary. As usual, many of his flock were waiting to talk to him. Everyone wanted a piece of his time. “Yes, Mary, I heard about your mother. I’m so sorry. I’ll visit her in the Hospital this evening.” --- “Hi Jim. Of course I’ll be at the prayer breakfast on Tuesday.” --- “I’d be happy to meet with you and your husband. Call the church office tomorrow and ask Linda to set up an appointment.” He was tired and hungry and all he really wanted that day was to get home for lunch with his family.
Out of the corner of his eye, Dan saw a young girl approaching him. He guessed she was in her early twenties, attractive but somewhat disheveled. Dan saw that look in her eye that said “I want something from you.” Part of him wanted to walk away and pretend he hadn’t seen her; but something stopped him. He turned to face her.
“You don’t know me,” she said, “but my name is Priscilla and I have somebody I want to introduce you to. Will you come with me?”
Everything in his flesh screamed “no, you’re too busy right now, put her off, make an excuse, you don’t even know her!” But the still, small voice in his heart said “go.” Dan nodded and followed her through the fellowship hall toward the back wing of the church building.
As he followed, she told her story. “Last Easter, I was home from college and a friend of mine invited me to a sunrise service in the park. I was in trouble and afraid and I knew I needed something. I hadn’t been to church in years, but I agreed to go. You were preaching and your words of love and hope touched my heart. I saw Jesus in a way I’d never seen him before. I gave my heart to the Lord that morning, and Jesus turned my sorrow into joy.”
They came to a door and stopped. Priscilla turned and looked up into Dan’s face. “You see, I was pregnant. I had an appointment to have an abortion the very next morning.” A nursery attendant put an infant into Priscilla’s arms and she lifted the child up with a beaming smile. “This is Joy,” she said. I thought you’d like to meet her.
P.S. - This is based on a true story. It was related to me many years ago by my then pastor, Dan Davis. I don’t know where Dan is today, but I don’t think he’d mind me telling his story.
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